Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Department puts the Breck mission into action by providing students the opportunity for self-expression, creativity, social interaction, collaboration and self-discipline. As the arts engage the whole person—the intellect, heart, spirit and body—so our Arts faculty is committed to knowing students as they are and to evaluating progress relative to each individual. The emphasis is on the process. Performances are designed to be guided extensions of what happens in the classroom. Department members are working artists who have received specialized training and are committed to the professional model in educating our students. They provide a supportive environment in which everyone feels safe to explore, practice and perform. The ultimate goal is to instill a life-long commitment to the arts and to open the imagination in challenging, joyful and even daring ways.

Private Music Instruction

Lower School

Exposure to the performing arts enriches and delights children at each stage of development. There is a rich comprehensive music curriculum offered where students’ skills are nurtured and built as they become artistic, literate musicians engaged in music that fosters creativity, play, and exploration. Master teachers of Orff Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze combine an innovative variety of approaches in music instruction. Students in preschool attend music class once every three days and students in kindergarten through fourth grade attend every other day. Fourth-grade students have the exciting opportunity to participate in instrumental classes in which they can experience first-hand playing band and string instruments. 

Middle School

Energy and enthusiasm guide Middle School students as they begin to self select performing arts that are of particular personal interest. Our teachers are gifted artists in their own right and help cultivate students’ creativity and artistic growth. Beginning to advanced opportunities exist in year-long courses of Band, Strings, Chamber Singers and Dance. Semester offerings include Drama, Choir, World Music, Dance, Stagecraft/Technical Theater and Digital Music. The Jazz Mob is an extracurricular offering to band students who are particularly interested in jazz. Every spring over 50 students dive into a full production of a musical performed in the 450-seat Cargill Theater. 

Upper School

The arts engage our highest faculties of listening, imagination and reasoning. In the Upper School passion inspires joy in focused work and the best sort of discipline - that which is self-motivated.  Elective courses include Dance I & II, and a more advanced Dance Repertory course. Acting I & II are offered along with a service-oriented course, “Performance and Social Change” which can be repeated multiple times. The Breck Chamber Players provides opportunities for more advanced string players while the Intermediate Orchestra offers an opportunity for those students who want to continue playing in orchestra in a less demanding setting. Advanced brass, wind and percussion players have the opportunity to perform with the Symphonic Winds/Jazz Band. Singers can join Concert Choir or audition for Breck Singers and plenty of opportunities abound for students to explore Theatrical Design and Theatrical Production. A diverse and eclectic offering of extracurricular opportunities for developing individual talents include Fall Dramas, US Musical, Breck a cappella ensembles, Theater Improv, and Theater Tech. 

2019-2020 Drama Season

This year's Drama Season revolves around the theme “The Power of Storytelling.” The line-up includes:

US Fall Musical: Chicago, High School Edition
by Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse, John Kander, and Maurine Dallas Watkins

Presented with permission from Samuel French, Inc. 
In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal. 

Thursday, November 14, at 5:30 PM
Friday, November 15, at 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 16 at 7:00PM
Auditions: September 4-6

US Winter Play: Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood
by Adam Symkowicz

Presented with permission from Samuel French, Inc. 
A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale. Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on.

Thursday, March 5, at 5:30 PM
Friday, March 6, at 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 7, at 2:00 PM
Auditions: January 7-8

MS Musical: The Phantom Tollbooth, Jr.
by Arnold Black, Norton Juster, and Sheldon Harnick

Presented with permission from Music Theatre International 
Based on the venerated children's book by Norton Juster, a young boy's magical journey proves that life is the greatest adventure of all. Even surrounded by dozens of toys, Milo is bored. Nothing interests him at all... until he takes a trip through the Phantom Tollbooth. Transported to the Land of Wisdom, Milo is thrust into adventure when Princesses Rhyme and Reason need rescuing in order to bring peace between two kings.

Friday-Saturday, May 15-16, at 7:00 PM
Sunday, May 17, at 2:00 PM
Auditions: March 10-12

Performing Arts Faculty

Melita Anderson

Lower/Middle School Music Instructor

David Birrow

Performing Arts Instructor

James Carlisle

Drama Instructor

Risa Cohen

Middle/Upper School Dance Instructor

Eric Gustafson

Theater Tech Instructor/Theater Manager

Melissa Hanson

Middle/Upper School Vocal Music Teacher

Claudette Laureano

Middle/Upper School Strings Instructor

Sharon Mazion

Performing Arts Dept Head/LS Music

Clay Pufahl

Band Assistant

Charlotte Wheeler

Band Instructor